The Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area (formerly the Gdansk Metropolitan Area or GOM) was established on September 15, 2011 to strengthen cooperation and to achieve the harmonious development of the entire metropolitan area around Gdansk, by making the best use of the potential of the member cities and municipalities, while at the same time respecting their differences and particular characters.
Its establishment was an initiative of Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz, who in early 2011 invited dozens of local governments to discuss the issues of the metropolitan area. It was not the first time this topic had been raised since discussions had been taking place since the early 90's when it was identified that Poland needed to support the development of large urban areas. Since 2011 several important initiatives of metropolitan cooperation have been realised: the Gdansk Bay Metropolitan Council, the Gdansk Bay Metropolitan Communication Association and the Metropolitan ticket have all been created. None of the initiatives have led, however, to the formalisation of cooperation in the wider metropolitan area. The establishment of the association was also a reaction to the lack of legislative action regulating cooperation in metropolitan areas, i.e. lex metropolis.
The discussions, which led to the establishment of the Gdansk Metropolitan Area, lasted several months. They were attended by many mayors, presidents and governors and the presidents and councillors of municipalities, cities and counties, as well as the publishers of the major regional media.
Currently, 54 local governments operate within OMG-G-S, which covers a total area of nearly 6,700km², and is inhabited by 1.55 million inhabitants.
The Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area is the fastest growing area of northern Poland. It is also a significant centre of integration processes in the Baltic Sea region as well as being an important link in the transport chain, linking the north and west of Europe with the central and southern part of the continent.
It is also a window to the world for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which are the natural catchment area for the two largest seaports in Poland. These ports are the only ports on the Baltic Sea which have a direct connection with the ports of South East Asia. The international importance of the Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area is also shown by the ever-expanding network of air connections available from Gdansk’s Lech Walesa Airport; the number of companies with foreign capital or local companies which have invested abroad. This importance is also demonstrated by the number of international agreements signed with our universities, the increasing number of foreign students and the number of joint research projects.
Then there is the recognition of the brand of Gdansk, which around the world is associated with 'Solidarity', the struggle for freedom and the award of the Noble Peace Price for its leader Lech Walesa.
The brand of Gdansk has been further enhanced by its association with the successful organisation of the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships.
These and other factors give the Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area a high international ranking, placing it within a network of metropolitan areas. It is these factors which in the main, considered alongside parameters such as GDP or size of population, determine its competitiveness.
You can talk about different levels of networking, for example, local, regional, national, continental or global. In each of these the Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area can rightfully take its proper place.